Ipswich: Alcoholic with criminal career spanning 45 years is jailed

Michael Debenham, who has been jailed following an incident in Ipswich. Michael Debenham, who has been jailed following an incident in Ipswich.

Friday, December 27, 2013
2:10 PM

An Ipswich man who has committed 177 offences in a criminal career spanning 45 years is back behind bars after threatening staff at supported accommodation where he was living with a knife.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Alcoholic Michael Debenham, 62, who committed his first offence in 1968, had been responding well to attempts to help him stop drinking but last month he turned violent when concerned staff entered his flat, after not getting a response from him, and found empty beer cans on the floor of his lounge, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Debenham, who was sitting on his bed with the curtains in the room closed had been aggressive and told the two women to get out of his bedsit, said Mark Lakin, prosecuting.

Debenham was given a cup of coffee but had become angry and shouted that he had messed everything up and was going to kill himself.

Debenham then went to the kitchen area of the bedsit and picked up a knife which he started waving around. One of the women tried to push a panic button but it wasn’t working, said Mr Lakin.

After further conversation with Debenham the women said they would leave and check on him later and he put the knife back in the kitchen.

The police were called and when they arrested Debenham he was aggressive and had to be restrained on his bed and handcuffed. He told officers he had been drinking and was worried he would lose his flat.

Debenham, who was living at Trafalgar House, Trafalgar Close, Ipswich, admitted affray and resisting arrest and was jailed for 10 months.

After hearing that Debenham had committed 177 offences since 1968, Recorder Stephen Solley QC told him: “It’s a very odd honour to have one of the longest criminal records I’ve ever seen.”

He said offences involving knives were very serious as situations could get out of control very quickly and ended up as cases of manslaughter or murder.

Neil Saunders, for Debenham, said his client had been an alcoholic for many years and probably wouldn’t live long enough to draw his state pension if he didn’t change his ways.

He said Debenham had made good progress while living in the supported accommodation but had now lost this because of his behaviour last month.

6 comments

  • How come if he had been "responding well" and making "good progress" in respect of his drinking problem were empty beer cans found his flat? After 45 years and 177 offences isn't it about time the do-gooders just accepted that some people can't and clearly don't want to be helped? Stop his benefit handouts then see how he copes when he has to pay for things like the rest of us do by actually earning it!!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • " after threatening staff at supported accommodation where he was living with a knife." So he was living with a knife? Or do you mean " after threatening staff with a knife at supported accommodation where he was living." ?

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • It's blatantly obvious that this person cannot or will not blend in with society i am just wondering whether the 10 months should be 10 years ...enforced drying out constant supervision , unable to hurt anyone ...if we pay for his bed site benefits and booze on the outside divert the money to his keep on the inside

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • How does he pay for his flat and his alcohol? I can't imagine that he's ever been able to hold down a job.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • might not live long enough to draw his state pension ,that should please cameron.in years to come there will be thousands of people will not live long enough to draw there pensions .[work till 70.] panic button not working , does anything work.?

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • So he's sent to prison which costs more to the taxpayer and will help with his drink problem not at all (if anyone really thinks prisons are dry they're kidding themselves). Epic failure to break the cycle when mandatory treatment might make more sense.

    Report this comment

    tgtround

    Friday, December 27, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...
iwitness24 Your news is our news Facebook Like your local paper Twitter Join the conversation Ipswich Borough Council

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT